National Geographic Magazine is bringing a bit of nature to New York City’s Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall as part of a week-long event promoting the magazine’s October cover story on parks.
The magazine is hosting an interactive photography exhibit, Experience Your World, under the theme Parks and Conservation. The exhibit, which celebrates international and national parks, coincides with a feature story in National Geographic’s October issue, now on newsstands.
Visitors can see large-format photos of national and urban parks surrounded by plants and shrubs, which invoke a park-like atmosphere. In addition, a large-screen display features two live Web-cams where consumers can watch animals in their natural habitat from Pete’s Pond, a watering hole in Botswana, and Kakadu National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory. At home, consumers can watch wildlife online at NGM.com/experience.
“National Geographic’s original storytelling and compelling photography offer an amazing one-two punch that allows us to engage consumers emotionally and intellectually while helping our marketing partners communicate their conservation efforts,” said Claudia Malley, VP and U.S. publisher of National Geographic in a statement.
Consumers can also explore the Green Travel Pavilion, which features advertiser displays from Tourism Australia and Air France. In the pavilion, Air France is offering on-site drawings for a pair of tickets to cities in Europe, the Middle East Asia or Africa. The airline is also offering a pair of round-trip tickets to Air France destination cities.
The offering is part of the Experience Parks & Conservation sweepstakes, which also dangles prizes, including a Bosch Nexxt 700 Series energy-efficient washer and dryer, an Epson MovieMate home theater, a Lenovo ThinkPad X41 Tablet laptop computer, a Lenovo ThinkCentre A60 desktop computer and a Samsonite four-piece set of X’ion luggage. Visitors can enter on-site or on a National Geographic microsite.
Tourism Australia will offer information about national parks and travel guidance. A display featuring Peruvian travel and conservation images will also be on hand. Peruvian dancers will perform in traditional costumes each day of the exhibition.
In the Green Lifestyle Pavilion, Bosch has its Nexxt 700 Series washer and dryer on display and is distributing information on conservation. The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corp. features nature scenes and literature on recycling and offers a sample drop box encouraging consumers to recycle cell phones and used batteries.
“It’s definitely an experience,” said Matthew Glass, CEO, Grand Central Marketing for the New York City-based agency handling the event. “You walk through [the exhibit] and you get drawn in.”
Visitors can sit back in lounge chairs in the Epson Movie Mate Cinema viewing area and watch National Geographic’s DVD on nature and the environment. Consumers can also pose as conservationists, have their photos taken and then get them superimposed on a National Geographic cover at the event. About 500 people each day are participating in the activity. The exhibit, which kicked off Sept. 22, runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. through tomorrow.
The photography exhibit marks National Geographic’s second. The magazine ran its first-ever event, Experience Africa, showcasing the magazine’s single-topic issue on Africa last year (PROMO Xtra, Sept. 6, 2005). A third exhibit is being planned for the magazine on another topic in 2007, Glass said.
Like it’s first exhibit last year, Grand Central Marketing transformed the marble walls of Grand Central into an actual environment readers would find in the pages of National Geographic, he said. The agency estimates the exhibition draws about 10,000 people per day.
Rubenstein Public Relations, New York City, handles p.r. efforts.